Cleaning Your Finds

cleaning a coin

There are a lot of ways to clean the coins, jewelry, and other items you dig up. Here is my curated selection of products to get the job done. Some manual and simple, others a bit more technical.

Some of your finds are just interesting. some are valuable. Please be sure to choose your cleaning method carefully and understand if there are any downsides to the method you choose.

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Ultrasonic Cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners are great for jewelry and if used cautiously are good for coins, too. There are opinions both ways on using an ultrasonic cleanerOpens in a new tab., but here are two models that are made for coins.

Manual Cleaning

This set of tools, known as “Andre’s Pencils” are a great way to manually clean coins and other objects you find.

Microcrystalline WaxOpens in a new tab. can be used to treat already cleaned coins. It takes some skill but it’s not hard. Once the coins are treated, they’re protected against deterioration and can be displayed nicely. It’s a little costly but worth it for expensive finds.

Tumblers, if you have the time

They’re a little noisy, they take a few hours to get results, and you should research what they’re best used for. Some say they’re great for coins, some say not so much. Look for a rubber barrel versus plastic (less noisy) and separate the coins to be tumbled into similar groups. For example, salt-corroded items with the same to avoid cross-contaminating deposits which could damage the coins. Here’s a highly rated rock tumbler that can be used for coinsOpens in a new tab.. You should do some research to figure out tumbling times and the best cleaning solution.

To be on the safe side, start with a short tumbling time and perhaps try a “test” bunch of coins to see what works best. Not recommended for valuable coins.